Scieszka’s short picture book rendition of the classic tale about three pigs and a big bad wolf is the perfect story to use when teaching compare/contrast. With fun characters, a good plot, and a twist involving a sneeze, your students are sure to enjoy this lesson!
This lesson is designed to enhance understanding of compare/contrast, as it appears in literature. A technology aspect using the program Inspiration is included but optional.
Create a Venn diagram that compares the classic story “The Three Little Pigs" to Jon Scieszka’s rendition, The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs. Preface the activity by listening to an audio version of “The Three Little Pigs." Discuss the story with the students, highlighting the character traits of each pig and of the big, bad wolf. Then, read Scieszka’s story and discuss it, again highlighting the character traits of each pig and of the big, bad wolf. Have your students draw two circles that are linked in the center. They should have enough space to write in each of the circles and in the part that overlaps. Tell them to label the first circle as “The Three Little Pigs" and the second as The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs. The center portion should be labeled as BOTH.
Have the students create a numbered list of the attributes that are unique only to “The Three Little Pigs" in the appropriate circle. Have them do the same thing for the circle labeled The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs. In the center, they need to write down aspects that appear in both stories. I usually tell my students to write down five things in each section. You can have them write more or less, depending upon allotted time and preference.
As mentioned, I am including an alternate assignment that can be done on computer. Giving students a choice would be a great way to differentiate instruction, too. If you have access to computers, using the program Inspiration is a great way to conduct this activity. Inspiration is available as a free trial and has a template for Venn Diagrams. Once they get to a computer, have them open up Inspiration. Click on TEMPLATES and THINKING SKILLS. Click on VENN DIAGRAM. Have the students complete the activity using the same directions from the previous section, only typing instead of writing.
Extension activities are in the form of additional Venn Diagrams. Have your students choose two characters to compare, such as the first and second pig, or the wolf and the third pig.
Using Venn Diagrams for compare/contrast activities is a great way to appeal to visual, kinesthetic, and linguistic learners. Your students will enjoy creating a Venn Diagram, which will also help them better understand the compare/contrast relationship as it appears in literature. As a review, you can use other stories and do a similar lesson. Bear in mind, too, that this particular lesson can be used in elementary or middle school. Using picture books is a great way to teach basic reading skills!